Why do I lose to this guy?

TennisProdigy

Professional
These are groundstroke points, and I ended up losing 5 games to 2 playing to 11 today, but out of the 5 sets we've played, I've lost 4 and typically lose 6-3.

Our playstyles are very similar, we both move well, have great defense, vollies are weaker, favor our forehands, and yet I always come out on the losing end no matter what type of game we play.

I try to attack his OHBH with my topspin forehand and have decent success, but I usually can't produce that many errors from it. A pattern that I have success with is attacking the backhand then going DTL with my forehand to his forehand. Unfortunately, my DTL forehand was pretty off today and I couldn't capitalize on this pattern much.

I really struggled with vollies yesterday even though the day before my vollies were superb when playing doubles. I have the most difficulty with the first volley around the service line. I know I'm supposed to go for a big target and mainly just try to get the ball deep so I can finish the next volley with an angle.

Any tips on tactics or anything I could improve on would be appreciated thanks!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pun_BHXTEGY&list=UUx-941GqGPXXupZ4mLixifw
 

skiracer55

Hall of Fame
What does your serve...

...and return look like? Remember, the serve and the return are the two most important shots in tennis, in that order. You can do anything you want with your forehand, but if you have a helium ball serve and can't return your opponent's serve, your groundstrokes aren't going to make much difference...
 

Tight Lines

Professional
I watched a few minutes in the middle of the video. From what I saw, your opponent seems to have better placement on the forehand side. He sets up his points nicely with corner shots that get you on the run. He also has nice touch on the forehand drop shot.

It seems to me that you tend to hit balls back to the middle a lot. If you can try to place the balls more to the corners, you might have a better chance. Good luck.

Harry
 

Jim Lefty

Rookie
I think you're on the right track by attempting to exploit the backhand, but doing so means you need to set it up with a good shot to the forehand side.

Also, I would attempt to bring this guy to net as much as possible, as he does not appear to be comfortable there at all. You can literally pick your poison once he's at net(passing shot/lob).

Your consistency needs to get bumped up a notch too. It doesn't appear as if he is bothered with your pace, so there really isn't a need to "go for it" unless the court is wide open.
 

donquijote

G.O.A.T.
He hits to the corners and you tend to play tentative to the middle giving him opportunity to push you to sides.
 

SFrazeur

Legend
I watched some and the biggest issue is that you never really moved him out of his comfort zone court positioning wise. I do not think I ever saw him run, while you ran a lot.
You hit cross court way too much and short in the middle of the court. Go for DTLs, not for winners necessarily but to move him to get short or weak replies that you can attack. Draw a 6ft circle with the service "T' as your center. DO NOT hit balls into that circle. It does nothing but give your opponent weak balls if you to hit the circle. He hit up the middle of the court on you a lot but they were deep enough shots to neutralize the point giving you no advantages.
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
...and return look like? Remember, the serve and the return are the two most important shots in tennis, in that order. You can do anything you want with your forehand, but if you have a helium ball serve and can't return your opponent's serve, your groundstrokes aren't going to make much difference...
Again we are identical, we both just spin the serve in and our returns are better than our serves. We were supposed to play a set at the end but he didn't want to with the wind gusting up to 20 mph.
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
I think you're on the right track by attempting to exploit the backhand, but doing so means you need to set it up with a good shot to the forehand side.

Also, I would attempt to bring this guy to net as much as possible, as he does not appear to be comfortable there at all. You can literally pick your poison once he's at net(passing shot/lob).

Your consistency needs to get bumped up a notch too. It doesn't appear as if he is bothered with your pace, so there really isn't a need to "go for it" unless the court is wide open.
Yeah neither of us are comfortable at the net, I tried to hit some drop shots but it was really tough in the gusty conditions. My consistency was suffering for the same reason. Also, this is the only person I play with consistently thats better than me, so I sometimes have a little bit of trouble adjusting to the pace he can generate.
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
I watched some and the biggest issue is that you never really moved him out of his comfort zone court positioning wise. I do not think I ever saw him run, while you ran a lot.
You hit cross court way too much and short in the middle of the court. Go for DTLs, not for winners necessarily but to move him to get short or weak replies that you can attack. Draw a 6ft circle with the service "T' as your center. DO NOT hit balls into that circle. It does nothing but give your opponent weak balls if you to hit the circle. He hit up the middle of the court on you a lot but they were deep enough shots to neutralize the point giving you no advantages.
Good points. I definitely did a lot more running than him, and it was difficult for me to get into attacking positions. For the backhand I'm most comfortable hitting crosscourt, I'm still working on my DTL backhand, especially since I just switched back to the 2HBH only a month ago. The forehand I like to go crosscourt so I can attack his OHBH, also as I mentioned before my DTL forehand was a bit off but I might've been going for too much.

I like your tip about the circle, next time I'll try that. I know I hit a lot of balls up the middle but quite a few times it was with 80-90% of the pace I can generate. Against weaker players I would get a short ball then come in and finish off the point. He handled these balls with no difficulty probably because he played 4 years at a D1 college.
 

SFrazeur

Legend
When going for bigger shots go for a bigger target. When going DTL do not try for a flat out winner painting the line. Imagine and play the court like it is about 1-2 feet smaller than it is, especially on the singles side lines. That way if you miss wide you windup with a better shot, not an out shot.
 

SFrazeur

Legend
I understand a left wanting to go cross court to attack a righty BH; however, if he is more consistent and can hit 4/5 balls back and you can only do 3/5 the probability is going to be in his favor.
 

SFrazeur

Legend
You have got to move him around the court though and look to push him off wide. He never really strayed past the center of the duece or add side. That makes it very tough on you to get any kind of angle and forces you to over play DTL shots.
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
I understand a left wanting to go cross court to attack a righty BH; however, if he is more consistent and can hit 4/5 balls back and you can only do 3/5 the probability is going to be in his favor.
Its just hand for me to not go crosscourt when facing a OHBH, out of the 20 or so I've played against, him and one other guy are the only people who don't struggle against my forehand. I'll mix it up next time I play him though with some DTL forehands going for big targets.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
As everyone else already mentioned, you hit back to him, he hit's the corners.
You did kill the net more than he did.
I like your strokes better, but you start to jump and flail a bit, while he settles down, uses solid stable footwork, and get's more power from his body and set feet.
 

skiracer55

Hall of Fame
There it is...

Again we are identical, we both just spin the serve in and our returns are better than our serves. We were supposed to play a set at the end but he didn't want to with the wind gusting up to 20 mph.
...if you are identical on serve, and you want to distance yourself from him (and everybody else who is playing the "my forehand is bigger than your forehand" game), STOP WORRYING ABOUT GROUNDSTROKES AND BEEF UP YOUR SERVE...regardless of the level you are at, if you want to go any higher, "just spinning the serve in" is going to put you on the taxi squad...any questions?...
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
OP is 5'8" tall, I believe.
Chang was probably shorter, and hit 124 in the French later in his career, with an extended racket.
Rochus has been timed mid 120's.
Ferrer is slightly taller, around 5'9", and hit's mid to high 120's.
Kriek was just shy of 5'9", easily hit into the lower 130's.
 

President

Legend
^Kohlschreiber is also around 5'9 and can hit into the 130's. Benjamin Becker is a little taller and can hit high 130's.
 

shindemac

Hall of Fame
Beef up your serve or some other part of your game. Could be fitness or speed, whatever. You need at least one or two areas of your game that is superior than your peers. Best to pick something that will have bang for the buck like serve and return of serve. It's up to you. Maybe if you play lots of 5 setters, than fitness and speed will help you out last and out grind your opponent.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Hey Josh, have you found any good tennis in your neck of the woods yet?
I guess you're around 5'9", and you can hit into the low 100's.
How's your second serve coming around?
 

President

Legend
Hey Josh, have you found any good tennis in your neck of the woods yet?
I guess you're around 5'9", and you can hit into the low 100's.
How's your second serve coming around?
Pretty decent, I am getting some decent spin and pace on it, thanks for asking. Still not bouncing super high, but at least it's not TOO attackable. I can hit my serve between 100 and 110, but not too many of them are going to be going in :)

I have found two good 4.5 players to hit with regularly, thank god. I am playing around 3 or 4 times a week, and improving at a good clip. :twisted:
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
...if you are identical on serve, and you want to distance yourself from him (and everybody else who is playing the "my forehand is bigger than your forehand" game), STOP WORRYING ABOUT GROUNDSTROKES AND BEEF UP YOUR SERVE...regardless of the level you are at, if you want to go any higher, "just spinning the serve in" is going to put you on the taxi squad...any questions?...
Good call, my serve actually has gotten better, it's at a 4.0 level now whereas it was 3.5 last year and I still went over 500 playing 4.5 singles. The serve is the one shot I never learned properly, probably because I never learned how to throw a ball (soccer player). For the 7 years I've been playing tennis, I couldn't serve worth a crap for 6.5 of them.
 

crash1929

Hall of Fame
OP is 5'8" tall, I believe.
Chang was probably shorter, and hit 124 in the French later in his career, with an extended racket.
Rochus has been timed mid 120's.
Ferrer is slightly taller, around 5'9", and hit's mid to high 120's.
Kriek was just shy of 5'9", easily hit into the lower 130's.
Rochus hit 120! Oh there is hope
 

crash1929

Hall of Fame
The first thing that came to my mind was that you did not mention serve and return in your post. The next thing I thought is SkiRacer is right on it. Then I watched. My advice:

1. Hit every serve to his backhand.
2. Return every serve to his backhand. Changing this alone could turn the tide, I'd say.

And have a specific target for both 1 and 2.
 
Last edited:

thebuffman

Professional
i'm not sure who is who. the op talks about hitting to a ohbh but both play with 2hbh. from what i see the strokes from each player are not equal. the lefty clearly has a better fh, more explosive bh and consistent serve. the guy wearing the white cap has a flaw in his fh quite pronounced. he doesn't start from below the ball to hit through it primarily because of an abbreviated take back. he hits balls that are chest high very well because those types of ball can be hit flatter. low balls however are hit very inconsistently because of the prep.

i would suggest the guy in the white cap turn his body more and drop his racket head more creating a nice circular motion on the stroke. he will see results instantly but it may disturb timing at first.

just my 2c
 

crash1929

Hall of Fame
i'm not sure who is who. the op talks about hitting to a ohbh but both play with 2hbh. from what i see the strokes from each player are not equal. the lefty clearly has a better fh, more explosive bh and consistent serve. the guy wearing the white cap has a flaw in his fh quite pronounced. he doesn't start from below the ball to hit through it primarily because of an abbreviated take back. he hits balls that are chest high very well because those types of ball can be hit flatter. low balls however are hit very inconsistently because of the prep.

i would suggest the guy in the white cap turn his body more and drop his racket head more creating a nice circular motion on the stroke. he will see results instantly but it may disturb timing at first.

just my 2c
He's the shorter one.
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
Again we are identical, we both just spin the serve in and our returns are better than our serves. We were supposed to play a set at the end but he didn't want to with the wind gusting up to 20 mph.
I skipped to the point play at the end, and I have to say that I don't think you and I are watching the same video.

Your opponent doesn't just spin his serve in. He goes for a fair bit of pace and either slices into your body or over to your backhand. The only time I saw him just spin in a first serve was after he hit three double-faults.

Secondly, I wasn't really impressed with the returns from either of you. Against solid serves, both of you completely missed quite a few returns and hit quite a few short returns that sat up nicely for the server's forehand. Most of the decent returns came from mediocre second serves. There were only a couple that I remember coming from solid first serves.

Of the returns you made, you pulled most of them to your opponent's forehand. That's ok if you're driving them hard and deep. But if they're short and weak, then you're going to be in trouble. Since you're a lefty, you need to learn how to hit BH returns down the line on the deuce side and inside-out on the ad side. If you're going to go crosscourt on the deuce side and DTL on the ad side, then you're probably better off slicing to keep the ball low so that righties can't tee off on it.
 

jjsang23

New User
Your buddy can't volley to save his life. Go cross court deep to his BH then chip short to bring him in. Now punish him.
 
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